Giftable Recipes: Homemade Chai Concentrate

The first in our recipe series for December, featuring giftable recipes from Beth of Tasty Yummies!

It’s officially holiday time and you know what that means, ’tis better to give than to receive! The same can definitely be said for food and other tasty treats – I love giving food as gifts. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the smile on someones face after just one taste of something that I made especially for them. This month as part of my ongoing series with Free People, I will be sharing recipes for tasty treats that can be made and given as gifts. Whether it is a gift for the hostess of a holiday party, a secret santa treat for someone in the office, a gift for a neighbor, or so on, I will be sharing recipes that you can create with love, put in a fancy box or wrap with pretty twine or ribbon and give to someone special.

homemade chai concentrate

This first recipe is one of my favorites. I have been making this for years and it makes a great gift. You can give it already made in a nice jar or bottle with a nice ribbon or twine and a handmade gift tag. Or, if you are worried about giving something that needs to be refrigerated, you can simply wrap up the spices and place them with the tea bags into a cute little cheesecloth pouch for an adorable chai concentrate mix packet, so your recipient can make their concentrate whenever they wish, adding or taking away any spices of their choosing. You would just want to substitute dried ginger for fresh and skip the orange zest.

homemade chai concentrate

If just giving the ingredients, you want to provide the recipient with the following instructions:

::: To make your chai concentrate, place 4 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup coconut, date or raw cane sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the cheesecloth pouch in. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove the pouch, then stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (optional). Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container or jar and placing in the fridge to cool. Keeps up to 7 days. For a latte, hot or cold, mix one part concentrate to one part milk of your choice, warm up or serve over ice. :::

This chai can be served warm as a hot latte or cold as an iced latte. Either way, when serving I go with a 1 to 1 mixture on the chai concentrate to a non-dairy milk. I prefer almond milk personally, but you could use regular milk or any other non-dairy milk. If you like it less strong, use less tea bags, or mix 1 part concentrate to 3 parts milk instead of 1 or 2. Add more or less sweetness, depending on what you prefer.

homemade chai concentrate

Homemade Chai Concentrate
Yields: 1 batch of concentrate, approximately 4 cups

4 1/2 cups water
8 bags black tea – I used orange pekoe
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup coconut sugar, date sugar or raw cane sugar (you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like your chai)
1 – 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional, leave off to make vegan, if you want it to be sweeter without the honey, add a bit more sugar in at the beginning)

1 small square section of cheesecloth, approximately 6″ square (if you don’t want to mess with cheesecloth, make sure you have a good strainer you can use at the end)
kitchen twine

Prepare the teabags by removing any tags if there are any and tying them all together. Prepare the spices, vanilla bean and orange zest by laying them in your cheesecloth, I leave my cinnamon sticks out to make the little pouch of spices a bit more compact. Tie the cheesecloth pouch shut with a small piece of kitchen twine. If you leave the cinnamon sticks out, just tie them together with kitchen twine.

*If you don’t wish to use cheesecloth, you will just add all of your spices directly to the pan when the time comes and strain them out after.

Add the water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat strain the concentrate through a sieve or just remove the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. At this point if you want a bit more sweetness you can add a tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. I don’t always do this, but it is a really nice touch. Additionally, if you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into an airtight jar or container. This amount fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

** To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk of your choice. I personally love unsweeteened almond milk (you can even make your own). Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink.

homemade chai concentrate

For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog!

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10 years ago

great recipe!!

DIY and more:
diyearte by L & S

10 years ago

This is a really sweet idea!!! Love chai! Yum!

10 years ago

i will definitely try this, i <3 chai!

10 years ago

Do you think you could can this recipe? It doesn’t look like there are any ingredients that would make this un-cannable ( un-cannable is definitely a word I just made up ). I want to make a large batch and can it to mail to friends and family across the country, but I would have to can it to preserve it.

10 years ago

What a great idea! Thanks FP!

10 years ago

Thanks everyone!
Ari, I wish I could answer that for certain, I know little to nothing about canning so I couldn’t say for sure either way. I wish I knew. If you look into it and find out, please do follow up and let us know. Thanks.

10 years ago

I just tried it and it’s delicious! I am gonna offer it to a friend as a Christmas gift! Thank you :)

10 years ago

I tried to do it and it’s much tastier than any chailatte I’ve bought!

// emma from sweden :)

10 years ago

Flavors were great! I did notice a bit of a bitter taste on the tongue, or is that normal of homemade chai? Could this be from too much cinnamon? The sticks I used were fairly large. I also used Darjeeling tea and did everything else the same (minus the ginger). I will make this again because I love the flavor.

Ellen R
9 years ago

I love Starbucks Chai Latte. I order mine breve this extra pumps. Here is the problem.
1. I am very sensitive to Caffeine and they do not have a caffeine free version in the stores. You can order it one line though and make it at home.
2. I was recently diagnosed with Diabetes.
3. My favorite Chai is now NO LONGER legal for me.

Now what. Any suggestions. I have tired to make it at home but so far, what I’ve done doesn’t have the silky feeling on my tongue and it tastes watery. HELP!

Kelsey Marie
9 years ago

what would the recipe be if I were making 10 jars worth?

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8 years ago

Have just made my second batch! Thanks for the recipe. I’m trying to cut down on the gross amount of sugar I consume and one of the things to go was the sugary packets of Liptons Chai Latte that can be bought in the supermarket. I thought I would struggle swapping to something like this but I haven’t. I even left the sugar out when making this recipe and instead squeeze a small amount of honey into each cup before drinking. Yum.

6 years ago

Just made this for my partner who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He misses his extra strong Starbucks chai tea latte.
I’ve swapped out the sugar and honey for agave nectar which while it has a sugar content it’s a low G.I sugar so it doesn’t shoot his blood sugar levels through the roof.
Very easy to make, I just stuck everything in the pan and strained it through one of our baby’s muslin cloths (a new one) once it was done.
Thank you for the recipe

6 years ago

Has anybody ever made a concentrate that sat for 3-6 months getting strong rather than just days or hours?